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Manny Pacquiao Completely Destroyed Ricky Hatton, Is the Fighter to Beat

It’s funny how much things change in a small amount of time. 18 months ago, Floyd Mayweather Jr. destroyed Ricky Hatton to cement his reputation as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. At that point Manny Pacquiao was fighting at 130 lbs and wasn’t really on the radar (as far as being a contender). A year and a half later, Mayweather’s coming out of retirement (as I predicted), and Pacquiao’s the top fighter in the world coming off a win over Hatton. As for Ricky, well, nothing really changed for him — he still wound up laying on the canvas on top of the Rockstar logo, a loser in both bouts.

Manny really has proven to me that he has an excellent skill level in addition to his impressive punching power. This guy absolutely destroyed Hatton, to the point where I thought he broke Ricky’s jaw and inflicted serious long-term damage with the knockout blow. I’m not going to get carried away with his ability and tell you how great he is — go see his fights against Juan Manuel Marquez to see otherwise — but Pac Man has really has opened up many people’s eyes with his wins at the higher weight class. Manny proved that he has a lethal knockout punch and that great results can be achieved when you pair a diligent fighter with a smart trainer.

Back to Hatton, truth is he got exposed once again. The guy is nothing but a straight ahead puncher who fails to make in-fight adjustments (probably because he was able to beat up just about anyone he’d ever faced). Pacquiao and Freddie Roach devised a plan to exploit Ricky’s weakness (Hatton leaves himself open when he throws his left) and they executed perfectly. Retirement isn’t necessary, but mechanical adjustments and fighting lower-quality opponents is. And with the layoff, Mayweather has a lot to prove against Marquez before a fight with Pacquiao can be scheduled. (Even if that’s what we all want to see).

Bob Arum: Manny Pacquiao Will Fight Ricky Hatton or Mayweather May 2nd in Las Vegas

I was just cruising along, minding my business watching a news piece on Manny Pacquiao’s 30th birthday party that would put any T.O. party to shame, when believe it or not, Bob Arum actually dropped some key information. Arum, Pacquiao’s promoter, confirmed what’s been suspected — he’s within 10 days of finalizing a Manny Pacquiao fight with either Ricky Hatton or Floyd Mayweather Jr. The fight will take place on May 2nd in Las Vegas. Around the 2:45 mark Arum says a fight is brewing, and Freddie Roach says Pacman will knock ‘em both out. You can also catch a glimpse of Pacman singing if you stick it out for the whole vid.

Even though the vid is in a different language, you can still get a strong sense of how popular and powerful Pacquiao is there. It was the dude’s 30th birthday party and it rivaled the celebration at the Democratic National Convention. Oh, and after watching Manny dismantle De La Hoya, I’m pretty confident he’ll take Hatton, too.

Mayweather vs. Hatton: A Clash Along Racial Lines?

The thought hadn’t even entered my mind until late Saturday evening, after Mayweather had already dominated Hatton. I was going for Hatton because I had picked him to win, figuring his combination of power, brawn, and desire would catch an unprepared Mayweather by surprise. I was wrong, but not disappointed. To be upset over an American beating a foreigner in international competition would be unpatriotic, would it not? Well, it was suggested to me Saturday night that support for each fighter was divided upon racial lines — all white guys rooted for Hatton, and all black guys wanted Mayweather. Hispanic fans I guess chose one side or the other, just waiting for Miguel Cotto to get his shot.

As I said, I wanted Hatton to win so as to vindicate my pre-fight analysis. The reason I lost confidence in Floyd, a man whom I’ve backed since his up-and-coming days as a 130 pound featherweight nearly 10 years ago, is because of the way I had been burned before; Mayweather was dominating opponents the way Roy Jones Jr. once had in his weight class, developing a reputation as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. Roy quickly became bored with his competition and pursued other interests including professional basketball and music, and wound up getting exposed by Antonio Tarver. Just a few months ago, I saw the same thing in the works with Floyd who was more focused on preparing for Dancing With the Stars than boxing. So was race a dividing factor in this fight? For some, perhaps. For others, myself included, I think it’s Floyd’s pretentious personality that’s a turnoff.

No doubt though, Floyd showed his masterful skill in the ring, living up to his nickname by finished the fight looking pretty. Hatton hardly landed any big shots on Floyd, who maneuvered his way out of the corner of the ring to dance around in the center and utterly dominate the fight. Floyd’s speed caught Hatton off-guard on several occasions, making it seem like Ricky walked into punches. Floyd is the best fighter in the world right now, but he still has a few more fights to take before his legacy is cemented. Next up should be Miguel Cotto, followed by the new Sweet Pea, Paul Williams. Though Mayweather has quickly amassed a fortune of earnings in the sport (back-to-back $25 million fights tells you the sweet science is alive and well), his place in the history books remains in question. I’m guessing it’s only a matter of time before Floyd loses focus and falls unexpectedly to an opponent. After all, it’s happened so many times before, hasn’t it?

(incredible photo courtesy Al Bello/Getty Images)

Hatton Calls Out Mayweather

We’re now inside a week away from a great fight to end the year — Mayweather vs. Hatton. Of course, you really didn’t think we could come this close to the fight without some controversies being drummed up, did you? Right on cue was Ricky Hatton, who called Pretty Boy a wussy in so many words:

“I think he’s an insecure person,” Hatton said last week during a conference call. “I think that’s why he surrounds himself with five or six bodyguards. They always seem to be yes men.

“You know, he always needs people whispering in his ear: ‘You’re the man. You’re Number 1. You’re going to do this, you’re going to do that.’

“That’s all a sign of insecurity. . . . If you believe you’re the best, then you don’t need anybody reminding you or reassuring you.”

Hatton would rather roll solo, sipping on some pints. He provides a nice contrast to the flashy Mayweather, who’s been known to make it rain from time-to-time. Funny thing is, I believe that’s going to do Pretty Boy in. While I think Mayweather’s a wildly talented and slick boxer, I’m worried about the Dancing With Stars curse. Anyone who is worrying about improving his 1-2 step rather than his left-right combo doesn’t have his head in the right place. I’m going with Hatton on Saturday night. Be prepared for more pre-fight analysis as the date approaches.

Mayweather, Hatton, Oh, It’s On

When the email crept into my inbox, I was startled, yet excited. Why would Mayweather take the bait? He said after beating De La Hoya — and receiving a monstrous pay day — that he was done. Not like I believed it, but I figured it would take another huge drawing fight to bring him back to the ring immediately, not just some trash talking. Which from the sounds of things, was all it took to get it done. Mayweather says he’ll beat Hatton all the way back to England (which sounds pretty cool, doesn’t it?)

“Ricky Hatton has talked nonstop about fighting me for the last two weeks,” said Mayweather. “He has disrespected me and my accomplishments in the ring, and I take that very seriously. I’m going to give him the opportunity to step up and fight the best in the world. I don’t think this punk will take the challenge.”

“Now that Hatton has opened up his big mouth, he might start to think about what he has been asking for,” continued Mayweather. “Does he really want to step into the ring with best fighter of this era and embarrass himself? Being the coward that he is, I doubt he’ll get in the ring. We’ll see what his excuse will be this time.”

Hatton won’t be dodging — he has no reason to. He’s looking to make a name in the U.S., and he’s a skilled fighter. For Ricky, it will be a big pay day. For Mayweather, it’s undoubtedly a challenge. And some money, but not Oscar De La Hoya type. I don’t know why Pretty Boy’s eager to fight Hatton; Hatton is dangerous, Hatton is tough. Hats off to Floyd for showing interest. He’s leaving no room for doubt amongst boxing aficionados by fighting some of the best competition around. Now, we just await the official announcement…